James Gilchrist

James Gilchrist


Representation: General Management

Photo: Patrick Allen - operaomnia.co.uk


James Gilchrist is one of the UK’s leading tenors and has performed in major concert halls throughout the world.   Recognised as ‘the finest Evangelist of his generation’ his extensive repertoire embraces works spanning many centuries.   He is an enthusiastic and prolific exponent of lieder and enjoys nothing better than putting together interesting and challenging recital programmes. His impressive discography includes the Schubert and Schumann song cycles, Finzi, Vaughan Williams and Britten.


Full Biography

James Gilchrist began his working life as a doctor, turning to a full-time career in music in 1996. His musical interest was fired at a young age, singing first as a chorister in the choir of New College, Oxford, and later as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge.

James’ extensive concert repertoire has seen him perform in major concert halls throughout the world with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington, Bernard Labadie, Harry Christophers, Harry Bicket, Masaaki Suzuki and the late Richard Hickox. A master of English music, he has performed Britten’s Church Parables in St Petersburg, London and at the Aldeburgh Festival, Nocturne with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and War Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Germany. Equally at home in Baroque repertoire, appearances include Handel’s L’Allegro il Penseroso ed il Moderato with Stuttgart Bachakademie and at Teatro Real, Madrid, Solomon with Les Violons du Roy, Semele with Concerto Köln, Elijah with the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España, Madrid and Bach Collegium Japan, Hercules with the English Concert, Ode to St Cecilia with Basel Chamber Orchestra and Messiah with Boston Handel & Haydn Society.  Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and the St John and St Matthew Passions feature prominently in his schedule, and he is celebrated as perhaps the finest Evangelist of his generation; as one review noted, ‘he hasn’t become a one-man Evangelist industry by chance’.

In 2017, James celebrated 20 years of collaboration with pianist Anna Tilbrook with a recital in Oxford.  Their recent performances together include a weekend celebrating Vaughan Williams at St John’s Smith Square, and a new project for the Wigmore Hall – Schumann and the English Romantics – pairing Schumann song cycles with new commissions from leading composers Sally Beamish, Julian Philips and Jonathan Dove. In the 2017/18 season, James and Anna returned to the Wigmore Hall for the third and final instalment of the series, with a programme of Schumann songs and a world premiere of a new work by Jonathan Dove.

James’ impressive discography includes recordings of Albert Herring (title role) and Vaughan Williams’ A Poisoned Kiss for Chandos, St John Passion with the AAM, the Finzi song cycle Oh Fair To See, Elizabethan Lute Songs When Laura Smiles with Matthew Wadsworth, Leighton Earth Sweet Earth, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge, Finzi songs and Britten’s Winter Words for Linn Records, the critically-acclaimed recordings of Schubert’s song cycles for Orchid Classics and a disc of Schumann song cycles for Linn Records.

James sang the role of Reverend Horace Adams in Britten’s Peter Grimes with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner with performances at the Edinburgh International Festival. Further recent highlights include Haydn’s Creation for a staged production with Garsington Opera and Ballet Rambert, as well as performances with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Denmark, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Spain, a series of concerts in Langeland with the pianist Julius Drake and a collaboration with the Academy of Ancient Music on a programme of Bach & Purcell.

In the 2018-19 season appearances include Elijah in Gothenberg with Goteborgs Symfoniker and Masaaki Suzuki, Handel’s Messiah with the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston, USA with Bernard Labadie, and at the Wimbledon International Festival with Matthew Best, St Matthew Passion with both Tafelmusik Baroque in Toronto, and Kings College Cambridge, Haydn’s Creation with Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and Christmas Oratorio with Le Concert Lorrain. Earlier this season James took further performances of Eddie Parker’s Debussy Mirrored Ensemble to York, Bristol and London, in a celebration and creative response to Debussy’s work in the centenary of the composer’s death.

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version.

Email: Evie Parker



James Gilchrist returns to Cambridge

April 2nd, 2019

Tenor joins stellar cast for Easter at Kings

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‘Tis the Season

November 26th, 2018

HC artists’ concert performances this festive period

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Suzuki in Gothenburg

November 7th, 2018

Elias with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

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Bach 333 Boxset Released

October 26th, 2018

Featuring Hazard Chase Artists

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Oxford Lieder Festival 2018

October 5th, 2018

Hazard Chase artists join award winning festival

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Leeds Lieder Charity concert (Wigmore Hall)

‘James Gilchrist showed once again that he has few equals amongst tenors with a beautifully expressive performance of Quilter’s ‘Fear no more the heat of the sun.’’
Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOHM (June 2019)


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Haydn, THE CREATION (Dallas Symphony Orchestra)

‘Tenor James Gilchrist as the angel Uriel brought a traditional oratorio soloist’s exacting enunciation and intense characterization of text’
Wayne Lee Gay for Texas Classical Review (May 2019)

‘Best of the soloists was James Gilchrist, […] his delivery eager and vivid.’
Scott Cantrell for Dallas News (May 2019)


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Bach, ST MATTHEW PASSION (Tafelmusik & Masaaki Suzuki)

‘Musically, everyone was in top form, including the soloists. British tenor James Gilchrist was a riveting Evangelist.’
John Terauds, The Toronto Star (March 2019)

‘I was especially entranced watching James Gilchrist, our Evangelist. The role of the Evangelist is enormous, and includes several distinct sorts of singing. At times Gilchrist is telling the story quickly in a very light declamatory recitative, soaring at times to the top of his range. I just pulled out my score, there’s at least one high B, perhaps it even goes higher? Now add in the fact that he’s not just singing but telling the story. Yet that’s the least of it. He’s involved in this story, the way a prophet would be involved in such a report, virtually preaching.  No that’s not the way some people sing it, but Gilchrist isn’t most people.  There are also arias, sometimes sung very sweetly, sometimes in a fiercely dramatic style. Gilchrist was perfectly in tune all night, clearly articulating his text, but most importantly offering genuine ministry in telling Jesus’s story in this musical form. And (as I mentioned) when he wasn’t singing he was absorbed in the music-making all around him.’
Leslie Barcza, barczablog (March 2019)


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‘tenor James Gilchrist sounds radiant in Schubert’s ‘Auf dem Strom’
Julian Haylock, The Strad (April 2019)


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Purcell, KING ARTHUR (Gabrieli Consort & Players)

‘Tenor James Gilchrist made a sturdy yet smooth-edged delight out of How blest are shepherds
Clive O’Connell, The Syndey Morning Herald (February 2019)

‘A beaming James Gilchrist, whose tenor has a delightfully pure tone, even got horizontal on the stage as a snoozing shepherd’
Patricia Maunder, Limelight Magazine (February 2019)

‘One of the highlights of the night was James Gilchrist, coat over his shoulder, stepping down from the stage, displaying his pink shirt and inviting the audience into his confidence, singing so lyrically ”How blessed are shepherds”, finally laying back on the stage contented. We were captivated.’
Brian Angus, Bachtrack (February 2019)


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Discography & Repertoire


The songs of Stephen Wilkinson with James Gilchrist (tenor), Matthew Brook (bass-baritone) and Mhairi Lawson.



With James Gilchrist (Evangelist), Neal Davies (Christus), Sophie Bevan (soprano), Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor), Ed Lyon (tenor) and Roderick Williams (bass arias & Pilatus).  Stephen Cleobury conducts the Choir of King’s College and the Academy of Ancient Music



With James Gilchrist (Evangelist), Stephan Loges (Jesus) – John Eliot Gardiner conducts the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and Trinity Boys Choir in a performance recorded live in Pisa Cathedral

SDG (2017)

Artist Manager

Sue Nicholls (Cambridge)
01223 706023

Associate Artist Manager

Evie Parker (Cambridge)
01223 706414